Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Impelled by the powerful feelings of a husband and father.

State of North Carolina, Chowan County   } Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, June Term 1811

To the Worshipfull the Justices of the said Court, The Petition of Thomas Barnwell a free person of colour in the Town of Edenton humbly sheweth, That your Petitioner hath intermarried with one Asa a negro woman slave late the property of Henderson Standin Esquire & hath for a long time cohabited & still doth cohabit & live with her as his wife; that your petitioner hath by his said Wife two children, to wit, Thomas & Nancy; that Mr. Standin hath lately conveyed this woman & her children to your Petitioner; that the said Asa hath always behaved as a peaceable, orderly, submissive & diligent slave & by her meritorious conduct during her servitude hath well-entitled herself to the favor of this Worshipful court — that your Petitioner, impelled by the powerful feelings of a husband & father, & anxious to reward the faithful services of the said Asa, is desirous of manumitting her & the two abovenamed infant children — He therefore prays your Worship that in consideration of the previous, you would pass an order Directing the manumission of the said slaves, upon his complying with the terms prescribed by the Acts of Assembly in such cases made and provided — And your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray &c.  Ja. Iredell for Pet’r.


Miscellaneous Slave Records, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Wayne County Apprentices, 1822-1824.

Bitha Reed, 10, Vina Reed, 8, Zion Reed, 6, Washington Reed, 3, and William Hagans, 6, were bound to Thomas Person in 1821.

[The Reids were children of free woman of color Rhoda Reid and her enslaved husband. — LYH]

Whitly Hagans, age 5, and Larkin Hagans, age 3, were bound to Jesse Bardin as farmers in 1822.

In the 1850 census of Cape Fear North East Side, Bladen County: Whitley Hagans, 30, carpenter, in the household of Edmund Richardson, farmer. By 1870, Whitley Hagans, 51, house carpenter, was listed in the census of Wadesboro, Anson County, with his wife Margarett, 54, and children Catharine, 24, Whitley, 23, Cora, 18, Hattie, 7, Allice, 5, and William, 1.

William Artis was bound to Stephen Woodard in 1822.

Theo King was bound to Mark Smith in 1822.

In the 1850 census of North Side of Neuse, Wayne County:  Theo. King, 22, farm hand, in the household of Major Smith, farmer.

David Lane, age 7, was bound to Matthew Grace in 1822.

In the 1850 census of Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana: David Lane, 34, carpenter, $400, Eda, 24, David, 8, and Nathan, 6, all described as mulatto, all born in NC. In the 1860 census, Indianapolis Ward 1, Marion County, Indiana: Eda Lane, 40, washwoman, and children David, 18, Nathan, 16, John, 12, Josephine, 9, and Kizziah, 4.

Henry C. Berry, age 8, was bound to Simon Copeland as a farmer in 1822.

Vina Hagans, 16, Eli Hagans, 18, and Sherard Hagans, 9, were bound to Robert Hooks in 1824.

In the 1850 census of North Side of Neuse, Wayne County: Sherrard Hagins, 39, day laborer, wife Mary, 39, and children Samuel, 20, day laborer, Winifred, 18, Benjamin, 16, Mary, 13, Smithy, 10, Narcissa, 7, and Robert, 7, and Nancy, 1.  In the 1860 census of Nahunta, Wayne County:  Sherard Hagans, 49, carpenter, wife Nancy, 50, washwoman, and children Mary E., 22, Robert, 18, Nancy, 12, and Marshall, 9. 

Poll, 14, and Major, 12, no last names, were bound to Blake Hooks in 1824.

Vina Seaberry, age 7, was bound to Henry Best as a spinster in 1824.

Mary Herring, age 18, was bound to Tobias Burns, as a spinster in 1824.

Nancy Burnett, age 11, was bound to James Musgrave, as a spinster in 1824.

Possibly, in the 1850 census of Fayetteville, Cumberland County: Miles Baker, 41, boatman, Nancy Burnett, 35, Benj. Roberts, 38, laborer, Jane Burnett, 15, Elizabeth Burnett, 11, Lovedy Brooks, 1, and Caroline Brooks, 25.

Micajah Burnett, age 13, was bound to John Cox as a farmer in 1824.

Lewis Artis, 12, was bound to Woodard Daniel as a farmer in 1824.

In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Lewis Artis, 40, farmer, wife Heneretta, 33, and Mathew Artis, 32, farmer, all born in NC, in the household of Henry Milligan, farmer, also born in NC. Lewis reported $1400 in real property.  (Milligan reported none.) Next door, Alford Artis, 52, farmer, born NC, and family. But see the 1860 census of Florida, Parke County, Indiana: Lewis Artis, 48, farmer, born NC, wife Elizabeth, 48, and children Lucy A., 22, Jesse, 20, John, 18, Louisa, 16, James, 12, Exum, 8, Eli, 7, and Margaret, 4. [Is this the same man? Are either the boy bound in 1824?]

Free-Issue Death Certificates: (NC-Born) Michiganders, no. 5.

William Sylas Copley. Died 28 December 1915, Vandalia, Cass County, Michigan. Mulatto. Married. Retired farmer. Born 15 August 1840, North Carolina, to Peter Copley and Delia Scott, both of NC. Buried Chain Lake cemetery. Informant, Melvin Copley, Vandalia.

Derry Anderson. Died 31 July 1919, Mason, Cass County, Michigan. Black. Married to Amon Anderson. Born 15 February 1850 to Peter Copley of North Carolina and unknown mother. Buired Lake View. Informant, Grace Artis, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Calvin M. Copley. Died 11 March 1915, Vandalia, Cass County, Michigan. Colored. Widower. Farmer. Born 13 August 1846, North Carolina, to Peter Copley and Delila Scott. Both of North Carolina. Buried Chain Lake. Informant, Homer Copley, Vandalia.

Caswell Oxendine. Died 3 May 1914, Dowagiac, Cass County Michigan. Colored. Married. Farmer. Born 4 March 1844 in NC to unknown parents. Buried Calvin Center. Informant, Mrs. Oxendine.

Berry Haithcox. Died 16 March 1904, Porter, Cass County, Michigan. Married 15 years. 3 children, all living. Born 1825 in North Carolina to Mills Haithcox and Sarrah Byrd. Buried at Mount Zion. Informant, Roberta Haithcock, Vandalia.

Every presumption was to be made in favor of freedom.

May Stringer v. Shepherd W. Burcham, 34 NC 41 (1851).

May Stringer, a free woman of color, filed suit in Carteret County alleging false imprisonment.

At trial, her counsel introduced a record certified by Craven County Court showing that, in December 1807, William Jessup filed a petition to emancipate certain of his slaves for meritorious services. The petition was granted, and bond provided. Among the slaves was a woman named Sinah.  Stringer, who was born after the decree of emancipation, was the daughter of Hannah, who was Sinah’s daughter. Sinah and her descendents had been regarded as free persons of color since their emancipation, except on one occasion, when a man claiming to be William Jessup’s son came to Craven about 1817 and tried to carry off Hannah and another person.  He was arrested and had not been since heard of. The court held that, “after an acquiescence for 30 years by the public in the enjoyment of her freedom, every presumption was to be made in favor of” Stringer’s freedom, “especially against a trespasser and wrongdoer.”

The jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and Burcham appealed. The State Supreme Court affirmed the verdict.

Pure white and Indian.


Enoch Manuel and wife live in Dismal Township, Sampson County. He is now 70 years old. His father was Michael Manuel and lived on South River and died in 1858. Michael’s father was Nicholas Manuel, a soldier in the Revolutionary War, in John Toomer’s Army. His father was Ephraim Manuel. The records of Sampson County show, book 5, page 222, that in the reign of George III Benjamin Williams conveyed to Ephraim Manuel 400 acres of land, lying on the east side of Great Coharie, charging annual quit rents to His Majesty. We find another deed from Solomon Hardin to Levi Manuel, dated October 10, 1778, for 125 acres on March Branch and Miry Bottom Branch in Sampson County, consideration 50 English pounds. There are numerous other old deeds to the Manuel family on record in Sampson County. The father of Ephraim Manuel was Nickey Manuel and came from Roanoke River and claimed to be half white and half Indian. There is no trace of negro blood known to exist in the Manuel family as far back as they have any record.

Enoch Manuel says that his ancestor, Nickey Manuel, raised Matthew Leary, father of Sheridan Leary, who was killed in John Brown’s insurrection at Harper’s Ferry. Sheridan Leary was a brother of John S. Leary, a lawyer of Charlotte, formerly of Fayetteville, N. C.  …  Sarah, wife of Enoch Manuel, whose picture appears above, was a daughter of Amos Hardin, a wheelright [sic] in Honeycutts Township, and was recognized as a Croatan Indian. This couple have seven children and numerous grandchildren. They have not intermarried with the negro race, and their children attend Shiloh Indian School in Dismal Township, of which school Enoch Manuel was the founder.

[“]My mother’s mother was one Lanie Jackson, a white woman. Therefore as you can plainly see, my father and mother were pure white and Indian. My wife was the daughter of Amos Harding and Cassie Lockamy, a white woman, of Irish descent.

We had in our home several sons and daughters. Jonah Emanuel, who married Luberta Bledsole, daughter of W. J. Bledsole. W.J. Bledsole was the son of Mary Bledsole, a white woman, his father unknown. He is evidently a white man, with some trace of Indian blood. Enoch Emanuel, Jr., also married a daughter of the above W. J. Bledsole. Macy Lee Emanuel married Hassie J. Jones of Robeson County, a person of white and Indian descent. All of the above are descendants of the late Nicholas Emanuel and Jonathan Harding.

Many of the members of the Emanuel family have moved to other sections. They are now living in as many as seven different States of the Union. Some have spelled our name Manuel; others Emanuel. I have followed the latter form for our name in this pamphlet. [“]

From George E. Butler, “The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina. Their Origin and Racial Status. A Plea for Separate Schools,” (1916).